(Photo: AP Susan Walsh)
“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But . . .,” wrote President Trump in a statement released on Tuesday announcing the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Commonly referred to as DACA, the program was enacted by President Obama to legally protect nearly 800,000 DREAMers who entered the United States without documentation as children.
Jeff Sessions, attorney general and a strong opposer of DACA adopts the notion that protections for undocumented people inherently takes away rights and opportunities of U.S. born citizens. In his opinion, DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing illegal aliens to take those jobs.” He adds, “We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It’s just not that simple.”
In response to the big news, President Obama issued a statement on Facebook which read, “Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision and a moral question. We shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away from the rest of us.” Former Vice President Joe Biden added in a tweet, “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America.”
Congress has until March 5 to make the final call about signing DACA into a law or providing substitute protections.